I faced my fear and went a week without any makeup

Spoiler alert: I survived


Ever since my mother allowed me to in sixth grade, I have been a huge fan of makeup. I was very quick to learn different styles and techniques and decided what worked best for my face. I decided, at the young age of 12, that wearing the heaviest eye makeup every day was the best look for myself. Though it was frowned upon by my father and most of my friends, it was the look I settled into the best. I found myself gravitating towards fashion magazines to look at the new trends in makeup and still to this day spend hours online looking up makeup tutorials or just marveling over the beautiful makeup photos posted on Instagram. In total, my makeup bag is worth over $400 from the accumulation of different products to go with the newest trends.

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The thought of spending a week of my life without makeup was both terrifying and seemingly impossible for myself. I even put on a bit of makeup before heading off to the gym in case I might see anyone I know. It wasn’t until recently in my life that I even trusted my best friends to see me without makeup. It’s not that I think I’m unbelievably hideous without makeup, it’s just that my daily routine of primer, concealer, bronzer, contour, blush, eye shadow, bottom stick eyeliner, liquid upper eyeliner, mascara, and of course my new favorite – highlighter, seemed to define who I am and what I look like. I don’t feel like myself without makeup on and I certainly don’t look like the self I put on for everyone else. And that is why this seemed like the best challenge for me to try out: Spend one week without makeup.

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I wasn’t doing anything spectacular, I was just going to be in my very routine schedule. So I tried it. I packed away my makeup bag for the week and wiped my face dramatically clean.

For the most part, no one said anything about the fact that I wasn’t wearing makeup. Because it is such a norm with other women, they just saw it as being normal. When I asked my sister, “Did you notice I’m not wearing any makeup?” she responded promptly and curtly with “Would you like an award?” It was amazing to me.

I thought that the time and effort I spent into doing my makeup every morning was making a huge difference in my appearance, but the only thing it seemed to actually do was make me look like I put in effort. At one point throughout the week my dad told me, “You look beautiful today”.

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It was actually amazing at how much time cleared up for me in the mornings that I didn’t have to spend sitting in front of my mirror, making sure my eyeliner wings were even. It was nice to be able to wake up in the morning, wash my face and head out for the day.

I only felt uncomfortable a few times throughout the week without my makeup security blanket. One of the times was when I went out to a decently nice restaurant with my father. I looked like I had just rolled out of bed instead of like I cared to actually be there. My dad, being as blissfully naïve as always, thought that I looked fine. However, I knew I looked a little out of place. Being 22 years old practically guarantees you to look out of place in an adult-filled restaurant, being the only person carded when you order a glass of wine, but then on top of that I was bare-faced, making me look even younger than I am and like I didn’t care enough to spend a little time bringing myself together for the evening.

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The other time I felt uncomfortable was whenever anyone would try to take a picture or when I had to send a dreaded Snapchat to anyone – in particular, my crush. Having my very naked face captured virtually forever made me feel uncomfortable, which upset me. I shouldn’t have been self conscious of what I looked like without makeup, but I was. It felt great when I was just going about my daily business, but to have that particular saved as a memory didn’t sit well with me. When I received a Snapchat I would try and send as many inanimate objects around the area I was sitting in before I have to send my face. Luckily for me, Snapchat face filters make you look like you’re wearing makeup even when you’re not.

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Overall, spending a week without makeup was very refreshing and somewhat-enlightening. I realized that the people I spend time with on a daily basis don’t care whether I have makeup on or not. After this, not wearing makeup will be less of a big deal to me and I’ll try my best to embrace my bare face with its flaws and all.